I began the night pleasantly surprised and slightly embarrassed that I was one of only a few people in the completely packed Venue 1 audience who had no idea who the hell Jon Richardson is. As with any Union event, this one was running late, but the excited buzz of conversation indicated that the audience didn’t mind using the extra time to buy a few drinks and happily fan-girl. Comedy-ignorant me instead admired the sparkling, starry backdrop and colorful balloons decorating the stage, which gave Venue 1 a festive atmosphere perfect for a night of comedy.
Eventually, the stragglers wandered in from the badlands and were ushered to their seats. The lights dimmed and the crowd hushed in anticipation as out from behind the curtain walked…not a tall, English comedian but a similarly funny Glaswegian of smaller stature: Leon, our director of events and services. Leon easily warmed up the crowd with plenty of self-deprecating humor, sharp retorts to hecklers, and tales of his failed love life that none of us single girls actually believed.
Amused and ready for more fun, I was surprised to find that Leon was not the only opening act; Lucy Beaumont took the stage in her full ditzy, sweet-girl-from-Hull persona. Now, as much as I love stories about quirky, little coastal towns full of pregnant teens and teeth-spitting old people, I found her character to be not only annoying but also not terribly funny. Her bit about Surrey sounded like a generic ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ post; maybe it’s my American sense of humor, but I needed another drink to get my spirits up by the time Leon finally introduced Jon Richardson—the man I was so curious to see.
Luckily for both my liver and my wallet, Jon soon had me – and the rest of the crowd – cheering and clapping over witty jokes about the absurdities of the upcoming referendum and the general tameness of even the craziest week in St. Andrews. His ongoing flirtations with a random audience member showcased the ease with which he could improvise, and his manipulation of Scouting for Girls as a running theme worked perfectly with his jokes about drunken misbehavior and university mischief. His sporadic self-deprecating jokes balanced out his outrageous tales of dealing with the severely intoxicated, which always resulted in people-hating and other death threat-related humor. By the time he busted out the potentially racist accents and imitations of other comedians, my sides hurt from laughing, and I didn’t want to see him go.
Wrapping it up with yet another jab at our odd May Dip-related traditions, the curtains closed for one final time as the light illuminated a room full of smiling students. Those who knew Jon before the performance were more than satisfied, and I, for one, returned home to watch videos of his other shows; he deserved far more than simply 8 out of 10 stars.
Photo credits: Jessica Yin